Local focus is a craft credo — supporting community organizations, brewing for core fans first in your neighborhood and (increasingly) utilizing ingredients that are made in the region. The latter is about localizing your supply chain, both supporting your community and state and embracing the regional personality of your ingredients and commodities. Some brewers have even gone as far as foraging beer recipes from natural surroundings (though one should be cautious of what’s legal to forage).
A new book from Brewers Publications, Brewing Local: American-Grown Beer, encourages brewers to use locally grown, traditional ingredients as well as cultivated and foraged flora to produce beers that capture “the essence of the place they were made.” In Brewing Local, Stan Hieronymus examines the history of how distinctly American beers came about, visits farm breweries and goes foraging for both plants and yeast to discover how brewers are using novel ingredients to create unique beers. The book introduces brewers and drinkers to the ways herbs, flowers, plants, trees, nuts and shrubs flavor distinctive beers. Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione seems to be a fan. Watch the video above.